The Answer that Destroyed Your Results

Nick Lape BS, CFMS

Answer Honestly for Better resultsI am a trainer. As you can imagine my life revolves around the gym and attempting to help people get into the best shape of their lives. I get to help people accomplish their goals and live the best life possible. Part of that is helping my clients set goals. And, I follow up with them.  I ask them lots of questions. How are you going to achieve this goal? Why is it important to you? What did you eat for breakfast? How many hours of sleep did you get? Now, there are hundreds of answers for each of these questions. And, most people know what the answer is SUPPOSED to be, however, it seems as though the real answer is always hiding someplace.

Whenever, we ask questions especially related to our health, there are a series of emotions tied to those questions. We don’t want to be judged. We want to feel as though we have it all together, especially when we are around others. If I ask the question, “How many hours of sleep did you get last night,” I sometimes get the answer, “Oh about seven or so…” However, the person really got five or six hours. Why did that person feel like he/she had to up the number? Was it to look better or maybe to feel better? Just because you know what the answer is supposed to be doesn’t mean you have to let the little voice inside lie about it. What do you gain? Nothing, you are actually hurting yourself.

 In the fitness world, at least in my world, I ask people these questions all the time. I hear a lot of different answers and my biggest piece of advice is to not dance around the real answer. You may know what your fitness coach wants to hear. But, if you can’t tell him/her the real answer, how can they help you maximize your life? That is what we are here for. We are trying to help you find the goals you have for yourself and plan to achieve them. Pay attention over the next few days, even hours, to how many questions you get asked, and how many times you blurt out what you know is supposed to be the answer, when really the real answer might not be so great.

For most of us, fitness and health is a journey. If you are truly invested in it then you’ve probably read article after article about it. So, more often than not we have a decent handle on what the answers are to some of the more general questions regarding fitness. However, those general questions are the things that can lead to more specific goals or gains or losses or whatever it is you are focusing on during your fitness journey. You may know what the answers are supposed to be, but tell the real one and don’t slow your journey to success. Be honest with yourself and the person who is trying to help you succeed.

Mobility and Fat Loss

By: Nick Lape BS, CFMS

Mobility and Fat Loss

Watch Nick talk about this fat loss and mobility!

If you have ever been around a gym atmosphere there is a good chance that you have heard the term, mobility. But, what does it mean? A dictionary will tell you that it is the body’s ability to move a joint freely through a range of motion. While that is a great way of putting it, one way I like to talk about it is having the proper flexibility and stability to move a joint through a range of motion. If you do not have proper mobility and are working out, you may not be losing fat like you thought you should. Rather watch a video to learn about this? Click here!

Before we get into fat lost, let’s learn about how we get mobility? It’s through proper programming that has been designed to help a specific person with specific movement issues. Does that mean a program is all stretching and corrective exercise? Absolutely…NOT.  Our first line of defense against immobility is soft tissue work, or foam rolling, or any other massage-like exercises you can think of. But, that isn’t all. As I mentioned above, stability, or strength, plays a huge role in keeping joints mobile as well. That may seem contradictory, but stretching a muscle as well as activating a muscle through simple unloaded movement can help make a muscle pliable. These would be things such as corrective exercises that have been designed to use flexibility and stability to prepare a joint for further manipulation. Either way we are bringing awareness and blood flow to the area by using the combination of both. When both flexibility and stability begin working together in a joint, you have more than likely created better mobility within that joint.

Now for the meat and taters of why you are all reading this article. How could that last paragraph possibly have anything to do with fat loss? Well here is the rundown. If you fail to do soft tissue work and break down possible physical stresses that your body is holding, then there is a good chance your range of motion will be lacking. When this happens your joints will NOT be able to continue moving in a manner that they should or that would be beneficial for strength training. Outside of the gym these joints tend to stiffen up, which makes it hard to move and can even cause pain through other movements. When you are in the gym with joints like this, strength training becomes difficult because of the lack of range of motion. This is when compensations can occur and your body gets out of alignment and those minor aches and pains can eventually get worse.

We all know that in order to burn fat we must challenge the body. We actually need to lift weights and strengthen the body. That’s why we have calisthenics, dumbbells, kettlebells, etc. However, without proper range of motion, or mobility, you will be unable to recruit as many muscle fibers and fewer nerves will fire to the area that you are focusing on. When few nerves fire and fewer muscle fibers work you can actually fail to spike your metabolism in a way that will cause what we like to call the after burn. In other words, your body won’t work for you.

So let’s summarize, less mobility → less range of motion → more pain → lack of muscle fibers working → less neurons firing → less working metabolism → LESS FAT LOSS!!! Let’s not forget cortisol. If you are in pain your body will release cortisol, which will make it a lot harder to burn fat. Now we also know that you can add more and more and more and more exercises to your weekly and daily life in hopes that you will burn fat and lose weight. But, if you have poor mobility (along with a poor diet, lots of stress, and minimal sleep) results will be neat impossible. Instead of adding more exercises focus on performing a few correctly and building that range of motion. Include all aspects of fitness into your life; mobility, flexibility, stability, along with proper sleep, eat and stress management and you will get results. If you don’t, then it takes going back and reevaluating each of these aspects and changing accordingly. Don’t forget watch Nick’s video on this topic!

The Suspended Row

By: Nick Lape BS, FMS

Suspended RowWatch as Nick shows you how to get the most out of the suspended row. The shoulder is a very important part of this movement that is often left out. You can actually see the difference in Suzanne shoulder as she uses it in the movement. The next time you do a suspended row be sure to pay attention to your shoulder blade movement.

Outcome and Behavior Goals

Outcome and Behavior Goals

We started a goal board at Forward Fitness. We want to make sure we are helping you get to where you want to be one step at a time.  And, what better way to do this than with a goal board. After all, a goal is just a wish until a plan is made. Aside form identifying your “Why,” your driving force (that’s another blog post) creating a good goal is key to success.

There are two types of goals I would like to talk about today: an outcome goal and a behavior goal. An outcome goal is result oriented and often times we do not have complete control of the result. For example, “Lose 5 pounds in one month,” would be an outcome goal.  This tells you your intended result. It can be a great long-term measure of effectiveness. However, if you only focus on your outcome goal, but do not think about the habits you need to create, success will be hard.

This is where behavior goals come in. Behavior goals are the steps you have to take in order to accomplish the outcome goal. It is something you have control over. For example, “Eat breakfast every day,” “Work out three times each week,” and “Get seven to nine hours of sleep every night,” are all behavior goals. This is where you need to keep your focus. It is a lot better to judge your success on whether or not you are achieving your behavior goals. After all, you choose whether or not you wake up early enough to eat breakfast or go to the gym. You choose if you finish binge watching the last season of Walking Dead or go to bed. These behaviors goals are the lifestyle changes that become habits and create the life you are striving to achieve.

Imagine you were succeeding in all of your behavior goals. You would feel pretty great. You could move better, your pants were fitting nicely, and you had more energy. But, what if your outcomes goal was to lose seven pounds in a month and you only lost five? You have been really successful in the past month making wonderful changes, but if all you chose to focus on was that you only lost five pounds and not seven, how successful would your following month be?  If all you do is weigh yourself and you do not see the exact progress you expected, chances are you will become discouraged.  Focus on the changes you have control over, celebrate your successes, and learn from your failures.

What’s your goal this month?

Cauliflower Tortilla

If you are looking for a new tortilla recipe you have come to the right place. It includes only natural ingredients. It is a plus too, if you cannot eat gluten as it is gluten free. I was fortunate to have found this recipe on SlimPate.com.

Ingredients

  • 2 packed cups of riced cauliflower (~ ¾ cauliflower head)
  • 2 eggs
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parchment paper

 

Directions

Pre-heat the oven to 375°F.

Rice the cauliflower by chopping off the stems and using a food processor to finely chop the cauliflower. It should be slightly smaller than rice.Cauliflower Tortilla

Place in a microwave safe dish, microwave for 2 minutes, and then stir.

Microwave for another 2 minutes and stir some more.

Place the cauliflower in the center of a clean dish towel and squeeze out all the water. CAUTION!!! The water will be hot. Use gloves if necessary. I used the same gloves that are use at Thanksgiving when cutting the turkey.Ringing out cauliflower

Once all the water is out, return the cauliflower to the microwavable safe bowl. Add the 2 eggs and salt and pepper to taste.

Once the eggs are stirred in, the “batter” should be slightly liquid.Cauliflower Tortillas

Place the parchment paper on a cooking sheet and divide the batter into 6 blobs on top of the parchment paper.

Smooth the batter into flat round tortillas.Cauliflower Tortilla

Bake for 10 minutes and carefully flip the tortillas. Bake for another 5-7 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow the tortillas to cool on a cooling rack.Cauliflower Tortillas

Once slightly cooled, heat olive oil in a skillet. Cook the tortillas on each side to add a slight crispness and nutty flavor.Cauliflower Tortilla

 

As you can see these tortillas can hold a filling without cracking and falling apart.  Cauliflower Tortilla

5 Steps to Perfectly Cut Peppers

Learn how to cut a pepper without wasting bites and pieces. It is easy, efficient, and very practical. Remember your knife safety skills as you are cutting. A dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp one.  Be sure the hand that is on the pepper should look like a claw, with your fingers perpendicular to the pepper.

Step 1– Cut around the upper perimeter of the pepper.

Pepper sliced around the top.

 

Step 2-  Use your hand to remove upper the top part of the pepper. Pull out center stem and seeds.

Pepper with seeds removed.

 

Step 3- Cut off the bottom portion of the pepper and cut through one side of the middle section of the pepper.

Pepper ready to cut.

 

Step 4- Gently press the pepper into the cutting board and slice into strips.

Pepper slices.

 

Step 5- Enojy with some hummus, guacamole, or as part of a stri fry, or salad.

Pepper Stir Fry

 

Smile! It Can Make You Happy!

Change your moodChange your body’s position and change your mood. Think about the last time you were mad, upset, or stressed. Were your teeth clenched or relaxed? How were your lips? Where were your arms? Were your shoulders shrugged? How was your posture? Were you looking up, down, or straight ahead? How was your breathing? Was it shallow and fast, or slow and from your diaphragm? Recreate your answers with your body. Now without changing anything, be happy. Could you do it? I don’t think so.

Shake it out and this time smile and sit or stand up tall. Keeping the smile on your face, get angry. Come on, get angry. You can’t. Isn’t that amazing?! Think about this the next time you are stressed, upset, or angry. You are actively putting your body in a position. If you keep your body in that position, changing your mood will be nearly impossible. When I am angry my teeth are clenched, my arms are tightly crossed, I have a frown on my face, I am slouched over with shrugged shoulders, I am looking down, and I have a wrinkle between my eyebrows from slightly squinting. My first step to changing my mood is to unclench my teeth and then uncross my arms. I then sit or stand up tall and change my breathing. My mood begins to improve. It might sound like it is backwards, but changing your body position can allow you to change your mood. I challenge you the next time you get stressed, angry, or upset to notice your body position and then change it!

Don’t Trust Your Scale

By: Suzanne Doerries RD, LD, CPT

The alarm goes off. You begrudgingly get out of bed, go to the bathroom, disrobe, and then stand staring at it. What will it say today? Will your efforts be rewarded or will the indulgence of last night show? One pound up or down from yesterday. What will it be? This number will set the tone of your day. Why do we give this piece of equipment so much power, especially when it really doesn’t tell us the whole story?

Measurements over the scale

She definitely lost inches and body fat percentage, but does the scale show the extent of her results?

We have all seen the pictures of five pounds of fat verses five pounds of muscle. The fat is lumpy and quite a bit larger than the muscle. Too many times people begin metabolic resistance training wanting to lose weight.  After a month they become frustrated because the scale is not budging. However, their clothes are fitting better and they feel better. According to the scale this person did not achieve anything, but if they took measurements or better yet had their body fat percentage taken before and after, they would have seen what was actually happening. (Body fat percentage tells you how much of your weight is fat and how much is lean mass.) In this case, fat was being lost and muscle built. It’s unfortunate, but a majority of the time people choose to focus on the scale and become discouraged when in reality they are actually making progress.

When I first had my body fat percentage tested I had not worked out in a while and was at my lightest weight. A few months later I had my body fat tested again. This time I had been doing metabolic resistance training two to three times a week. I actually weighed more, but my body fat percentage was less. This means I had gained muscle and lost fat. If I had chosen to just look at the scale, I would have thought I was going in the wrong direction.

There are many methods of measuring body fat percentage. You may have seen the hand held machines, which use bioelectrical impedance. They are very accessible. However, hydration levels play a role in the results making accuracy and precision a question. Hydrostatic (under water) weighing is a little less accessible to the public, but more accurate. This method takes weight on dry land and then under water to compute body fat percentage. It does require you to be able to blow out as much as possible under water. Hydration status does not affect these results. If you have access to hydrostatic weighing this is definitely the method to choose.

I urge all of you who use the scale to measure your success to think about alternate methods. Body fat percentage is great, but if you can’t do that measurements, the way your clothes fit, and how you feel are good things to track. You can even measure success by reaching your weekly goals of working out x times per week, cooking healthy meals x times per week, paying attention to your hinger signals… Whatever you do, don’t let the scale be the only method you use to measure your success.